Monday, April 28, 2014

Red Bay Alabama - Where our motorhome was made

We visited Red Bay Alabama to tour the Tiffin motorhome factory and see how the coaches are built. This is a small town of about 3000 people and would probably be gone if it wasn't for Tiffin. They employ about half the town.

The tour was interesting. The factory is not that modern and many of the operations are done by hand. Even without automation they pump out about 12 motorhomes per day. 

They fill the interior before the walls go up. 
A beautiful Cummins diesel engine waiting for it's home
Walls up. Waiting for slide-outs to be installed.
We also visited the paint shop a few miles away in Mississippi. They use several coats of paint with careful taping in between to achieve the desired graphics. 

Worker removing tape from painted coach
Emerging graphics

There is a free campground adjacent to the factory and it was filled with at least a hundred Tiffin's waiting for service, with several coaches in an overflow area dry-camping. Some people told us they had been waiting for 2 weeks and were just managing to get an appointment. Fortunately we didn't need any major service and therefore only stayed a couple of days to take the tour and check out the scene.

Although we enjoyed the visit, we both came away from the experience hoping that we never have to return to Red Bay for service. Everyone who was there seemed to be extremely bored and frustrated sitting around waiting. There is nothing to do and no restaurants worth visiting, so it's not a very pleasant way to spend 2 weeks. The factory service currently has a first-come first-served policy (no appointments) which is not very customer-friendly. We'll keep our fingers crossed that we don't have to return. 

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